US & UK urge S Sudan leaders to salvage peace agreement

The US Ambassador to the UN has called on South Sudanese leaders to seize the opportunity to resuscitate the peace agreement in the coming few weeks.

Ambassador Nikki Haley said it’s been six months since the Security Council demanded the warring parties to cease fighting and return to the negotiation table, but nothing has happened.

In June, a summit of IGAD heads of state and government agreed to convene a meeting of the signatories of the South Sudan peace agreement to discuss ways to revitalize the implementation.

The revitalization forum, which was supposed to take place this month, was to also develop a revised and realistic timeline and implementation schedule towards a democratic election at the end of the transitional period, including adopting concrete measures to restore permanent ceasefire.

According to Ambassador Haley, the IGAD-led revitalization forum is the last chance for the different parties to salvage the peace agreement.

“Each month, we have watched the situation in South Sudan become worse, not better – and we issue still more calls to action,” Haley said.

She said the real responsibility and power for change lies with South Sudan’s leaders.

“Our bottom-line message to the South Sudanese leaders will be that they seize this opportunity to take the initiative; They have a way to stop this violence,” Haley stressed.

Ambassador Nikki Haley will visit Juba in the coming months to reiterate her government’s position on the conflict in South Sudan.

Meanwhile, the Ambassador of the United Kingdom to the UN, Jonathan Allen said his country is concern about the failure to comprehensively implement the unilateral ceasefire declared by President Salva Kiir this year.

Ambassador Allen says the South Sudanese leaders should end the dire humanitarian situation through a negotiated settlement of the conflict.

“We should be very clear – with those who do not seem to be taking the need for peace seriously, who seem to believe there is a military solution – that there will be consequences if they fail to take full part in that process,” Allen said.

“I would just urge the government of South Sudan along with all the parties, to get back into proper peace talks as the regional countries are trying to organize.”

Three weeks ago, the U.S. Treasury Department sanctioned two government officials, and a former army by freezing their assets that may be within the U.S. jurisdictions, ban them from traveling to the U.S. and bar Americans from doing business with them.

The Office of Foreign Assets Control said the individuals may have contributed actions or policies that threaten the peace, security, or stability of South Sudan.